Rhetoric and argument in Chapter VI of Jerome's Vita Malchi Monachi Captivi

09 Jun 2014

The authors argue that the density of rhetorical devices in Chapter VI of Jerome’s Vita Malchi Monachi Captivi not only serves as proof of Jerome’s literary competence, but also informs the reader about the real purpose of this short work, namely to serve as an argument in favour of celibacy. Rhetorical devices such as apostrophe, rhetorical questions, biblical allusions, metaphor, antithesis, polarity, rhyme, alliteration, parallelism and chiasmus in this short chapter are pointed out while some parallels are also drawn with the work of a contemporary Syriac-speaking author, Aphrahat the Persian Sage.